A panel of pundits on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" Friday railed against Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton for her continued claim that Republicans are to blame for her abysmally low honest ratings and widespread view that she's untrustworthy.
The discussion comes just days after Clinton lost the New Hampshire primary to her opponent, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and several exit polls showed her trailing Sanders among voters who consider honesty to be an important factor in who they choose to support. Among those voters, Sanders edged Clinton 92-6 percent as the more honest 2016 hopeful, according to CNN.
"Let's be serious here for a second. When your hack spokesman starts attacking inspectors generals and the intel agencies, and your hack spokesman starts attacking the integrity of inspectors generals and John Kerry's State Department, you're desperate," host Joe Scarborough said of the Clinton campaign's defense.
"When your hack spokesman's approach to this [is] attacking the integrity of inspectors generals, then yes, Hillary Clinton's week just went from bad to worse."
"Here's the problem," Washington Post Reporter Chris Cillizza explained. "[Clinton] did an interview with Rachel Maddow earlier this week [and] was asked about this idea that lots and lots of people, Democrats importantly, don't believe that she's honest and trustworthy, and her answer for that was that's because there's been years and years of concerted Republican attacks on me that none of it is founded on anything."
He continued, "That is true; there's no question that Republicans have spent years not liking the Clintons. But at the same time, this is why this latest investigation matters. This is the State Department [and] the FBI. This isn't the House Select Committee on Benghazi. This isn't Ted Cruz. This isn't Donald Trump."
"It's just hard to make the case that this is a vast right-wing conspiracy," Cillizza said. "Remember there are now three ongoing investigations. There's the State Department into the Clinton Foundation and Huma Abedin. There's the State Department into the private email server and the FBI into the private email server, as well as whatever's going in Congress."
Cillizza also noted that it's unlikely any of the agencies investigating Clinton "take their marching orders" from leading Republicans like House Speaker Paul Ryan or Texas senator and GOP presidential hopeful Ted Cruz. "I think it just undermines this idea that this is sort of an orchestrated attempt to bring her down. That might exist, but that's not what these are."
"For Hillary Clinton to still be trotting out the vast right-wing conspiracy when you have the Justice Department, the State Department, the inspectors generals from the intel agencies, it seems to me it just makes her seem more desperate and undermines her credibility further," Scarborough added.
Clinton and Sanders participated in the sixth Democratic debate Thursday evening, during which questions about the former first lady's honest problems did not come up.